A cougar recently spotted in upper Warfield isn’t considered a threat at this time, according to a local conservation officer.
Tobe Sprado said his office documented sightings of a cougar observed roaming Montcalm Road. But there have been no further reports since the Trail and Greater District RCMP called in Friday.
“The thing that we look for is if a cougar is preying on pets such as dogs or cats and we haven’t received any of those complaints,” he explained, “and if a cougar is observed during daytime hours because generally they’re nocturnal species, and they hunt for the most part at dusk or at night.”
Sprado counts this year as a rather quiet cat season with the only one documented in the Trail area so far.
“Predators can come into municipalities like Warfield or even Trail in search for food,” he added.
“With it still being winter up above, the deer, their prey species, are located lower down in the valley, so it’s not uncommon to have cougars in and around those places.”
Unlike bears that get habituated and become an ongoing concern in communities, cougars don’t stick to one place for long.
“They’re always looking for something to eat and can be at a location for several days until they consume, in most cases, a deer,” explained Sprado.
When a cat is spotted in a neighbourhood, residents should still be on alert. Children shouldn’t be outside unsupervised and if outside, should ideally be in a group of at least three or more. Parents should also take time to educate their kids on what steps to take if a cougar is stocking them.
“If the cougar is watching them and they’re having that stare down, they’ve got to make themselves look big and they’ve got to be aggressive and then they’re going to want to pick up sticks and throw rocks and be prepared to beat it off if need be,” Sprado added.
As with all wildlife encounters, residents are encouraged to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1877-952-7277.